The following was copied from the Petition by Transform:
Despite minimal state investments –less than 2% of the transportation budget–, nearly 1 in 5 trips in California are now on foot or by bike. The State has a tremendous opportunity to again double walking and bicycling trips by 2030 by making strategic investments to shift car trips that are less than one mile, which account for an additional one-fifth of all trips. This would reduce congestion, carbon emissions, and poor air quality in our neighborhoods, and ultimately contribute to achieving our state climate goals. Walking and bicycling improvements are the most cost-effective projects for reducing greenhouse gas emissions: shifting trips under one mile from driving to active transportation would avoid approximately 1.3 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
Moreover, increased active transportation investments help the state achieve AB 32 co-benefits by providing healthy, safe, and connected transportation choices for all Californians. Investing through the state Active Transportation Program would prioritize low-income communities and communities of color who disproportionately suffer from traffic violence, inadequate infrastructure, and lack of access to green or open space. Low-income communities of color in Los Angeles County, for example, lack safe sidewalks and bikeways and green space, with less than 2 acres of park land per 1000 residents.
Without this critical infrastructure, LA County residents experience a 39 percent rate of walking and bicycling roadway fatalities, and a high childhood obesity rate of 23 percent. By pairing green infrastructure with active transportation, the state can maximize its climate change investments: improving the quality of the community environment, improving public health through increased active transportation and recreation opportunities, and providing significant heat mitigation, air quality, and carbon sequestration benefits.
Despite the overwhelming opportunity presented by active transportation, the state Active Transportation Program (ATP) is critically underfunded and under-resourced, with nearly $800 million in shovel-ready walking, bicycling and Safe Routes to School projects and programs left unfunded in last year’s ATP Cycle.
Creating healthy, connected communities with walking and bicycling opportunities will help achieve the ambitious climate goals set out in Governor Brown’s 2015 State-of-the-State Address and recent legislation introduced by Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León.
Increase funding for the Active Transportation Program (ATP) by $100 million to reduce vehicle miles traveled and the household cost of transportation, while improving public health, air and water quality, economic development, and livability of communities.
With increased ATP funding, integrate green infrastructure and access to parks and green space more fully into the goals and eligibility of the ATP to increase the greenhouse gas reduction potential and co-benefits of the program. Green infrastructure such as shade trees, vegetated planters or park strips between curb and sidewalk, bioswales and permeable paving increases street-level comfort and encourages walking and biking for both transportation and recreation, multiplying the climate emissions and mitigation benefit of active transportation projects.
Ensure substantial ATP investments in projects that provide meaningful benefits to disadvantaged communities to uphold the goals of SB 99 (2013) and SB 535 (2012).
Also See: Governor signs bill to create a new Active Transportation Program